Whether riding for exercise, commuting, or for fun, cycling in Charleston comes with risks. Because of these known risks, most bicyclists take measures to minimize danger from riding on South Carolina roads, which include wearing a helmet at a minimum, to bicycling on less traveled roads or at specific times of the day in which there is less traffic.
Regrettably, despite the proactive and preventative measures one can take to avoid the chances of a collision with a motor vehicle while bicycling, it is virtually impossible to eliminate all risks of being struck by a motor vehicle while on a bicycle. Distracted driving, aggressive driving, and faulty equipment on vehicles all routinely contribute to traffic accidents with cyclists.
WHAT EVIDENCE MIGHT HELP MY CHARLESTON BICYCLE ACCIDENT CLAIM?
Every bicycle accident case is unique. Evidence that may be important for one claim might not be for another claim. Therefore, it is vitally important to seek the counsel of a skilled Charleston bicycle injury attorney for guidance about the best way to investigate and handle the particular facts of your case.
At Marin and Barrett, Inc., we can tailor our legal strategy to the individual nature of each South Carolina bicycle accident case. Using our experience we will be able to conduct an investigation to obtain time-sensitive evidence and bring in necessary expert testimony and file motions and subpoenas to compel disclosure of evidence that is being withheld. We will gather your medical records, medical costs, and property damage costs for inclusion in a fair settlement agreement.
BICYCLIST INJURY STATISTICS IN THE UNITED STATES
According to the NHTSA, in 2018 approximately 47,000 bicyclists were injured in traffic accidents (a decrease from 50,000 or 6.4 percent from 2017). This accounts for 1.7 percent of all traffic accidents resulting in injuries in 2018 in the United States. With respect to fatalities, in 2018, there were 857 fatalities as a result of traffic accidents (an increase from 806 fatalities in 2017 or 6.3 percent from 2017). In fact, nationwide, the fatality rate for bicyclists has increased steadily from 2009 to 2018 (with the exception from 2016-2017. This increase in the number of bicycle accident related fatalities accounted for 2.3 percent of all traffic fatalities for the year (36,560 total).
WHAT ARE THE LAWS IN SOUTH CAROLINA THAT PROTECT BICYCLISTS WHILE ON PUBLIC ROADS?
South Carolina has numerous laws that provide protections for bicyclists and pedestrians, including Section 56-5-3435 Cars a Safe Distance from Bicycles which requires that motor vehicle drivers at all times maintain a safe operating distance between the motor vehicle and a bicycle; Section 56-5-3445 Unlawful to Harass Bicycle Rider which makes it unlawful to harass, taunt, or maliciously throw an object at or in the direction of any person riding a bicycle; and Section 56-5-3450 Unlawful to Cling to a Motor Vehicle which makes it unlawful for anyone on a bicycle, coaster, roller skates, sled, or toy vehicle to attach it or them or himself to a vehicle upon a roadway. Additionally, a number of local communities have added bike lanes to allow greater protections for cyclists.